There was widespread panic across Europe in mid-2017 when millions of eggs were recalled due to being contaminated with Fipronil — a highly toxic insecticide that is banned in the EU. Eggs were found to contain high levels of the toxin, which led to products being removed from shelves in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands.
This of course only addressed part of the problem. Since eggs are a staple ingredient in many delicacies and dishes prepared and sold through supermarkets, the extent of the contamination is still unknown. Sadly, this is only the latest in a long line of blows to consumer trust of food manufacturers in the twenty-first century.
While the use of banned insecticides is indefensible, particularly in this incident, the recall does highlight a persistent issue in the international food chain. Fipronil, while outlawed in the EU, is legal for sale and use in the US agricultural sector. There are similar inconsistencies in product and practice legality in the food industry, which underlines the importance of best practice when managing compliance.